Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Happy Reading Everybody!

Hola Readers.  I have come to a difficult decision.  Between work, school, clinical's and studying I just do not have the time to do this blog justice.  I am finding that the few moments I do get to myself I just want to read :-)   Unfortunately I am going to have to put the blog on hiatus.  I hate it because this is one of my few creative outlets and I love writing it, but I always promised myself if I couldn't keep up and it started stressing me out more then giving me a release I would stop.  I will probably keep my reading list and TBR list updated and if I just find and or read something to awesome not to share a spontaneous post may appear on occasion.  Hopefully someday sooner rather then later I can get back to it.  Until then, as always HAPPY READING EVERYBODY!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Oh Happy Day!

I'M FINALLY GETTING MY AC FIXED!!!!!! I am so excited to finally get my house below 92 degrees!!!!!!.  
I'm gonna crank that AC so high that it snows in here!!!!!  Can't wait to curl up under a pile of blankets and read with out dripping sweat on every page.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bar Tales

Hola Readers!  Rambling time!!!  Let's see...hmmm...I have a huge stack of books here to ramble about...Let's go with After Hours: Tales From the Ur-Bar  edited by Joshua Palmer and Patricia Bray.  This is an awesome little collection of stories centered around a bar run by the legendary Gilgamesh and is set in many times and places.  All of the stories are pretty cool, but here are just a couple of my favorites.
An Alewife in Kish by Benjamin Tate - This is the first story in the collection and tells the tale of how the previous proprietor of this magical eternal bar essentially tricks Gilgamesh into taking over for her.  In this story we learn the rules, which is essentially the proprietor is immortal, but may never set foot outside of the bar unless he/she can convince somebody else to willingly take over.  We also learn that the bar shifts around as time marches on, appearing in various places in various incantations...which sets up the rest of the collection beautifully.

Why The Vikings Had No Bars by S.C. Butler - Vikings rock!  Vikings who get introduced to liquor fight.  Vikings who get introduced to liquor and then messed with by one of their gods just makes for a great bloody story.  This early entry into the collection was just fun and bloody and perfectly Viking in every way.

The Tavern Fire by D.B. Jackson - Tiller is a simple man who earns his food by buying and selling stuff he can gather from the townsfolk.  He stops by the Brazen Head Tavern where Miss Jackson is uncommonly kind to him.  Turns out she wants information about Janna, who works at Gil's bar (which is called the Fat Spider in this story).  Tiller goes to Gil's bar and is given food and drink.  Miss Jackson comes in to try and get Janna to cast a spell to bring a married man to fall in love with her.  Janna refuses and Miss Jackson  threatens to expose her as a witch.  Gil offers a spell instead.  This results in the man coming to Miss Jackson, but his wife follows and it is implied that she sets the tavern on fire...solid story.

The Alchemy of Alcohol by Seana McGuire - This is probably my favorite story in this collection.  It combines the world of fae, science, cooking, potion making AND includes two very yummy drink recipes.  The Summer King brings The Winter Queen to be woken early so she can help battle her obnoxious sister.  Furniture, drinks and magic fly in this fabulous story.

Forbidden by Avery Shade -  A woman from the future comes to the present to collect genetic samples.  She comes from a place where individuality and extremes have been eliminated leading to a bland and safe existence.  With the help of a chat with Gil and some experience in the bar she decides to stay and live a full...if possibly unsafe life.

I really enjoyed all the variety this collection had to offer.  I also like the common thread running through them all, kind of like reading a complete story with little tales tucked inside.  I am now going to join my friends for a drink and create our own stories.  I give this collection 7 out of 10 magic elixirs and recommend it to anybody who likes a great ale tale.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, July 14, 2017


Hi Readers!  First of all it took me like an hour to figure out how to spell dilemma so there's that.   It's been one of those weeks where I am so far behind I feel like I am going backwards.  I have so much I need to get done and so much I want to get done and then in the end all I want to do is curl up and
read.  So this week I have an insane amount of homework and studying to get done and our AC is out.  As my house is currently sitting at 89 degrees I decided to head to my local Barnes and Nobles to study and utilize their AC.   Of course as soon as I walk in I have to force my self to a table and to open my backpack and take out my homework instead of browsing the books.  Seriously I don't think people understand how excruciatingly hard it is to study in a bookstore/library.  I did buckle down and get at least half of my stuff done and decided to come home and take a break.  I also have a whole stack of books waiting to be rambled about, but instead I have to go get back to :-(  Hopefully I will get a good one up soon.  Anyways thanks for listening to me babble :-)  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Back At It

Hi all, how was everybody's week?  It's been absolute craziness over here.  We had an unexpected family emergency (no worries all is well now).  I am now back at home trying to catch up on all my homework and assignments and duty and teaching and reading and writing and laundry and
everything else.  On a happy note I got two and a half books read despite the unforeseen twists in our "vacation" and the porch time was perfection.  I also got to read multiple stories to my younger nephews and took the older ones to the book store.  I have to say I adore the fact that K-guy, my oldest nephew is as addicted to reading as I am.  It was cool to see him get so engrossed in his book that he didn't even hear us.  There were multiple times where he would disappear only to be found tucked away with his book.  Definitely my nephew lol.   Anyways I have A LOT of ramblings to start working on an will try and get those up soon.  In the meantime, Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Books For The Road

Hola Readers!  It's road trip time again!!!  This time I'm doing double duty with a quick Chicago/Rockford trip to see G-man and L-bud, then down south to meet up with K-dude and R-boy.  Totally excited to all my babies (who are no longer babies...sniff).   I've been packing all day...which pretty much means perusing my bookshelf trying to decide what to bring.  Here is what  I came up with.
Cosmic Powers edited by John Joseph Adams - My go to editor, especially for sci-fi collections that for some reason always seem to fit my summer/road trip mood short story collection book.

Street Magics edited by Paula Guran - The alternate short story collection for in case I finish my primary short story collection and want some more short stories book.

Spellcast by Barbara Ashford - The summer stock theatre, magic, new town book that not only seems to sum up so many of my younger summers but just sounds like the perfect summer read book.

Too Many Curses by A. Lee Martinez - My humorous yet well written and kind of weird yet makes total sense 'cause you know book.

One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey - The I need a fantasy book  in a series I know I like and I've been slacking book.

Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia McKillip - The wildly atmospheric and dreamy and worst case scenario it's got an amazing cover to look at book.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi - The one of my favorite books and requisite ocean book 'cause it's summer books

The Last Treasure by Janet Anderson - My middle grade story 'cause I love these books when I'm in a nostalgic mood especially with the little boys book

Alice by Christina Henry - My WTF is going on her, but it's and Alice in Wonderland book so it will be awesome or horrific but either way I'll get a great rambling out of it book.

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex  - The I'm really sick of Hubbin asking me about this book so I'm gonna read it so he'll shut up book

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer - The firehouse book club recommendation and loan and also it sounds pretty cool so why not book.

Boneshaker by Cheri Priest - The this has been on my TBR pile forever and I've been dying to read and just haven't yet book

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund - The OMG I totally forgot I had this on my bookshelf and dude killer unicorns awesome book

Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie -  The I love a good mystery especially in the summer and might as well read the queen of mystery book

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien - My I'm obsessed with the classics at the moment and also I need at least one high fantasy and do I really need a reason for Tolkien book.

The Masterharper of Pern by Anne McCaffrey - Dragons!!!!!!!!!  Also I always need at least one Anne McCaffrey book with me on vacation book.
Since I'm gonna be gone there will be no posts next week :-(  BUT my rambling pile is growing pretty quickly so be prepared for that.  Also I'm working on a couple other ideas.  Happy Reading Everybody!!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

You Must Allow Me To Tell You How Ardently I Admire And Love You

Hola Readers!  Time for some more Jane Austen and today I get to ramble about my favorite of her books, Pride and Prejudice.  This was the first Austen book I read and to this day it is still my favorite, especially when I remember the era it was written in.  It is the most retold of all the Austen novels and I'm just gonna jump right in.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
I'm gonna try and keep this brief as there are a zillion sources for really cohesive synopsis...or of course you could just read it.  We open with the news that the Netherfield Manor has been rented by a man of considerable fortune, a Mr. Bingley.  This news allows us to get acquainted with all the Bennet family, who are the main players in the family.  Jane, the eldest daughter is all sweetness and kindness with a beauty to match.  Our girl Elizabeth is smart, fiery and not unattractive.  Mary, moral and scholarly, Kitty a kind of petty and bland follower.  The youngest is Lydia, spoiled, selfish and clueless.  The five girls live with their mother, the over the top, yet very loving Mrs. Bennet, and their father, the calm and detached Mr. Bennet.  The girls are introduced to Mr. Bingley, his two sisters and his friend the soon to be infamous Mr. Darcy at a local ball.  Mr. Bingley is charming and already half in love with Jane, but Mr. Darcy is proud, arrogant and makes the mistake of snubbing Elizabeth, leading the family and the town in general to dislike him.  Jane continues to be a favorite of Mr. Bingley and is invited by his sisters for dinner.  At Netherfield, Jane catches a bad cold and is forced to stay. Elizabeth goes to stay with her and consequently spends time with the family.   Mr. Darcy finds himself intrigued by the spirited Elizabeth, while Mr. Bingley's sisters...especially Caroline...the single one are not as thrilled to find themselves in competition with her fine eyes.  Meanwhile the militia has come to reside in town, bringing with it the dashing and charming Mr. Wickham.  Wickham has the prior acquaintance of Mr. Darcy and regales Elizabeth with the details of his abuse at the hands of said gentleman.  This further colors Elizabeth's bad opinion of Mr. Darcy.  Bingley holds a ball at Netherfield where it is evident that he is very much in love with Jane, and that Jane feels the same.  Unfortunately the rest of the Bennet family (excepting Elizabeth) acts in a very un mannerly way.  A few days later word comes that the family has left Netherfield for London and has no idea when...or if they will come back.  Amidst this chaos, Mr. Collins, a nephew of Mr. Bennet comes to stay with the family. Mr. Collins is ridiculous, simpering and completely unaware.  He is also the fortunate clergyman of the formidable Lady de Bourgh...who takes an undue interest in him and his house.  He comes with the intention of marrying one of the girls, as when Mr. Bennet dies the whole of Longbourn estated (the Bennet family home) will go to him due to an entail.  He chooses Elizabeth, who wisely refuses him based on so many factors.  He does not take the rejection well and ends up at Lucas Lodge, the home of Charlotte Lucas, a friend of Elizabeth's.  He "falls in love" with Charlotte and the two are married.  Jane goes to London to try and recover her spirits at the loss of Mr. Bingley.  Elizabeth travels to visit with Charlotte after her marriage.  While there Elizabeth meets the Lady de Bourgh, who turns out not only to be Mr. Darcy's aunt, but hints that her sickly daughter is intended as his bride.  At some point during her stay, Mr. Darcy and his cousin come to stay with Lady de Bourgh and Elizabeth and he once again are thrown together.  Mr. Darcy comes to Elizabeth and his famous proposal was made.  Elizabeth's equally famous rejection is given.  Mr. Darcy
delivers a letter or Elizabeth addressing her accusations of him separating Mr. Bingley and Jane, and the bad stuff he did to Mr. Wickham.   He cops to separating the couple based on his being convinced that she did not really love him, also on the complete and utter lack of propriety shown by most of her family.  As far as Mr. Wickham goes...well let's just say he was a very bad boy and is lucky that Mr. Darcy didn't do more to utterly destroy him.   Ok moving on (we are only halfway through...)  Elizabeth returns home to the news that the militia....including Mr. Wickham are to be moved to the sea town of Brighton.  Lydia is desperate to go, as they are essentially her whole source of entertainment.  For once Mr. Bennet denies his wife and daughter and staunchly opposes the deal.  Lydia however is given another chance when she is invited specifically by one of the officers wives.  Though Elizabeth begs her father not to let her go, he gives his consent.  Elizabeth's aunt and uncle take her on a trip to visit the county of Derbyshire...which just happens to contain the famous Pemberly, of which Mr. Darcy is master.  After learning that the family is gone for the summer, the trio decide to visit it.  Of course since this is a book....Mr. Darcy comes home early much to the embarrassment of Elizabeth.  Mr. Darcy surprises everybody by acting the perfect gentleman.  He comes and visits Elizabeth, bringing with him his sister and Mr. Bingley.  A couple of visits shows us that Mr. Darcy still has feelings for Elizabeth, and she finds herself warming to this improved Mr. Darcy.  Of course we need some sort of drama so Elizabeth receives a couple of letters from Jane.  They detail the saga of Lydia and her potential elopement with Mr. Wickham...then further news comes that they are somewhere in London most definitely not married.  Elizabeth tells Mr. Darcy the news then goes home with her aunt and uncle to deal with the crisis.  After much ado word comes that Lydia and Wickham are finally married and to be sent up North.  The pair stop by Longbourn on their way North and Lydia lets it slip that Mr. Darcy was the reason for their marriage. This of course just adds to Elizabeth's growing love.  The Bennet family is surprised to receive a visit from the Lady de Bourgh.  She pulls Elizabeth aside with the intent of securing a promise from her to never marry Mr. which Elizabeth pretty much just laughs.  Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley come back to Netherfield.  Mr. Bingley immediately renews his attentions to Jane, resulting in an engagement.  Shortly after, Mr. Darcy feels out Elizabeth and finding her own feelings changed to a much more loving tone also proposes.  The girls get married to their men, continue to take care of their families and live ever after.   Whew...sorry....that was really long.
World Building - This story is set in 17th century England, mostly in the countryside.  It is what most people consider historical fiction...except it wasn't written as historical it's just fiction.  Anyways.  Mereton, Longbourn, Kent, Rosing Park, Pemberly, Netherfield, all of these places have been created so well that many people think that they are real.  I find it interesting that the author mixes real places (England, London, various counties) and places of complete and utter fiction (see above).  The seamlessness of these two types of places just adds to the overall completeness off the world.  Not bad for world building.

Story - As always, Ms. Austen likes to have multiple threads of story, usually all culminating together.  I like how at first glance there seems to be several disparate story lines, but by the end of the book we see how they are all connected.  While there are several slightly overly convenient moments, overall the story actually makes some sort of sense.  The various storylines keep it from being to simple or boring and it is markedly different from the authors previous work.  Also...I have just always really loved this yeah...awesome.

Character - Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are by far the most dynamic of characters, with both of them going through legit changes in opinion and belief.  The rest of the characters are a bit one note.  A few of them show some growth or layers, but for the most part any non Elizabeth/Darcy character seems written to illustrate a certain point or characteristic.  The other four sisters embody either a virtue (Jane - beauty and goodness) or a flaw (Lydia wild and reckless).  Mr. Collins is the foolish suck up, Caroline is petty and on and so forth.  The two saving graces of characterization for me is a) the two main characters do go through significant change and b) with the plethora of characters in this book the one noteness is not as apparent as we do not spend an inordinate amount of time with anybody but our main duo. So Ok on Character.

Editing - For as huge (apx 375 pages depending on the edition) as this book is, it flows really well and even the first time through I read it pretty quickly.  This tells me that I did not need to spend time going back and forth or trying to remember who or what was going on.  It also helps that all the story and character threads are being continually tied together to make a tapestry of a book.  Good job.

Love Stories - I love the variety of ways to "fall in love" that are shown in this book. We have "prudent love" in which Charlotte Lucas marries Mr. Collins in a bid to make a comfortable home for herself in a very practical manner.  "Puppy love" in which Lydia throws herself in the arms of Wickham deciding it to be true love in a moment.  Jane and Bingley give us pure and innocent romantic love that just makes us smile.  "Uneven love" in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet is a warning against a mismatched pairing.  Of course we have the piece de resistance in Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.  This is my kind of love story, they start of with a dislike of each other and both form an opinion on very little information.  Over the course of the book they learn to communicate and accept new information about each other.  The biggest part of this developing relationship is the ability of both parties to admit where they are wrong and grow from it without losing who they are.  I think this is why I love this book so much.

Upper Class - This book is most defiantly about the upper class.  I think the militia and maybe Mr. Collins are the lowest "class" of citizens in this book and none of them are suffering.  The vast majority of the characters have no actual occupation other then some vague business having to do with their estates.  The few who do work are intellectuals or sermon givers, and none of them do any real sort of manual labor.  I guess it could be said that the militia could potentially go to war, but the general feeling was of men at leisure for the most part.  This is all and well and works for the story, but probably leaves a dimension out.

Adaptability - One of my favorite things about this book i the adaptability of it.  I have seen and read a bunch of versions of this story and have loved many of them (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies anybody?).  The movies are hit or miss with of course the BBC version being the best (and also 6 hours long), but I have to admit I'm a bit in love with Bride and Prejudice a Bollywood version of the book that just makes me happy.  I love a story that can be set in many times and places and I am open to any suggestions.

Overall Impression - I think it's pretty clear that I very much love this book.  It is one that goes on my favorites shelf and has such great readability I don't think I will ever get tired of it.  I give it 10 out of 10 pianofortes and recommend it to anybody who wants a solid classic story, characters to fall in love and hate with and a world to become completely immersed.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, June 26, 2017

No AC!

Soooo...our AC broke...and since we are now proud home owners we get to deal with it all by ourselves...yay.  This wouldn't be to bad as a) I really like the windows open and b)  I pay the electric bill, but it's been in the upper 90's plus humidity. Normally I would just run away to the fire station...but the AC is out in the bunk rooms.
Melting Book
Just how hot is it?  Well everything is melting...especially me!  Plus side is that reading does not require a whole lot of energy (technically neither does studying...but who wants to do that) so if you need me I will be stuck to my couch with a pile of books and ice...or at the bookstore...cause you know...AC.   Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Graphic Novels Are Books Too!

Hola Readers.  There has been a debate raging through my firehouse book club on whether or not graphic novels count as books.  For the record I totally think they count...and since it's my blog I'm right.  I love graphic novels for several reasons.
1. They make me feel accomplished 'cause I can usually knock at least one out in a single sitting.

2.  The different format makes for some very cool world building and story telling in a completely different way then a traditional book.

3.  Most graphic novels tend to be a collaboration among various authors and artists which in a good graphic novel means a sum that is greater then its parts.

4.  I like the pretty pictures.
So yeah...definitely think graphic novels are legit books folks. Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Beyond Imagination

Hola Readers!  Who's ready for another rambling?  I am YAY!  Today let's ramble about...The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers.  It is part of his Zamonia series but can be read as a stand alone like I did.  I think this one was recommended to me by my baby sis...which is always a good thing.  Let me tell you people this book hit all my literary emotions.  It was not at all what I expected in a very very very good way. What the heck do I mean?  I'll tell you, but first, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
First of all, let me just warn you that I am not going to be able to get a billionth of this book into the synopsis 'cause every page, every word is dripping with meaning and story and well...yeah.  So instead I'm gonna try and just give you enough of an outline to not be too lost, but seriously you just should go read it. Our story is narrated by Optimus Yarnspinner, a Lindworm (a being that resembles a dinosaur) from the fabled Lindworm Castle, home to many a worthy author.  Optimus has just lost his authorial godfather Dancealot and has set out on a quest to find the author of a fantastic manuscript left to him.  This manuscript has the ability to run the reader through every emotion known to living beings and yet it has not been published.  To find this mysterious author, Optimus heads to Bookholm which is essentially a city devoted to all things books.  It is filled with book sellers, book binders, book publishers, cafe's with book themes, literary music, ink, pens whatever you can possibly relate to books you will find in Bookholm (kind of like my blog lol).  Upon arrival Optimus is thrust into an adventure that any book hero would envy.  He starts by showing his book to a couple of very interesting book vendors in the hope that they will recognize it.  This leads him to various other places and to aquiring the book The Catacombs of Bookholm by the famous Book Hunter Colophonius Regenschein and we as the readers learn along with Optimus all about the catacombs of Bookholm.  Optimus is finally directed to Pfistomel Smyke a collector of the rare book brought up from the catacombs and also a kind of literary scientist.  He turns out to be one nasty dude and after reading the manuscript reveals his nefarious plan to Optimus.  Smyke's whole goal in life is to essentially turn all art mediocre, to eliminate any greatness and essentially control everything.  To this end he drugs Optimus and traps him in the catacombs beneath Bookholm...and this is where his adventure really starts.  Optimus uses the knowledge he aquired to try and traverse the catacombs, but disaster keeps befalling him.  After several misadventures he is rescued by the not so malicious
Booklings, who despite their fearsome reputation, choose to care for Optimus.  They show Optimus many of the safer wonders of the catacombs and inspire him with their dedication to memorizing all the works of all the authors.  Tragedy strikes when an unusual alliance of Book Hunters finds the Booklings Grotto and destroy it along with killing many of the Booklings.  Optimus is shoved into a bookshelf contraption and sent spinning through the catacombs to more adventures.  He eventually ends up in the Hall of the Shadow King, a mysterious character that plays a part in almost all the scary tales of the Underworld of Bookholm.  After even more adventures (are you sensing a theme here?) we finally get the Shadow Kings story.  Turns out that he is the author of the fantastic manuscript, but that it was also his downfall.  The Shadow King started out life as a human who had the misfortune of running into Smyke, who of course could not stand the idea of such great art outside of his control.  Smyke then used many arcane techniques and wondrous supplies to turn the human into what is now the Shadow King.  He was made to be pretty much immortal, strong, smart, literary and unable to ever enter sun or moon light on the dire consequence of bursting into flame.  More conversation and writing and adventuring and book stuff and Optimus and the Shadow King decide to go back up to the surface regardless of the consequences.  They face down a hoard of Book Hunters, discover a confession and will and finally confront Smyke.  The Shadow King allows himself to catch on fire, burning down a good portion of Bookhom and Optimus escapes, inspired finally to write his first masterpiece.  This does not even BEGIN to remotely tell the rich and full story of this insanely wonderful world...but then short of reading the book, I don' think anybody could do it justice.
World Building - This book is set in the fictional world of Zamonia...which I cannot wait to read more of!  We got to visit Bookholm and the insane amount of detail was just fantastic!  I felt like I could find myself in any section of this city and know exactly where I am.  It felt whole and complete and layered.  There were customs, cultures, rules, consequences, legends, language, all in abundant variety.  There were notes that added to the depth of this world and for having so much shoved into one book, the world was not confusing in the least. I loved the little touches, like the cafe's with the literary inspired treats, or the various parts of the city dedicated to different area's of the book process.  It was just so full in a good way, it felt almost endless, like there was always another nook or crany or passageway to explore, new treasures to find, so cool.   Again this is just one part of whole world and this one book has made me very eager to explore the rest of it...such amazing world building.

Story - The story was whole and complete.  It had a beginning, middle and end.  It was in some ways your typical adventure story, but more along the lines of an epic saga like Beowulf with many small adventures, meetings and incidents adding to the whole adventure.  The story had a fairly classic structure with a lot of original ideas, giving the reader the comfort of structure and the thrill of discovery, very cool story.

Character - Variety is the word I think best describes the characters in this book.  In this book we see so many species (Lindworms, Booklings, Uggly's, Spinxxx and so many many many more), characters from different backgrounds, classes, shapes, sizes, needs, modes.  Again you would think that this would detract from actual character development, but I found that the characters that mattered where very fully formed and all the other characters added some delicious flavor.  Yay characters.

Editing - I'm shocked at how well this book is edited.  Again (are we getting sick of me saying this yet?)  it is just stuffed full of so many things that it should feel cluttered or choppy or overly doesn't.  I found myself reading every single word, trying to absorb as much of the literary goodness that I could.  It was a page turner and I had very few complaints about the pacing.  Not sure how this happened, if the author is just that amazing, or his relationship with his editor is that good or some combination, but epic editing.

Book Lovers Dream - This book was written for lovers of the written word.  The language, the setting, the story, everything about it seems tailored to bibliophiles.  I seriously want to go wander into one of the bookshops and get me a stack of books, curl up in a cafe with a cup of Midnight Oil Espresso and a Book pastry and read my brains out.  The amount of literariness that has been poured into the book makes me feel like the author loves books and all things literary as much as I do.  It is finally a book about books that doesn't drive me nuts.  It is not just about reading books either, it is about how they are written, how they are published, the materials, the variety and the idea that there are types of books we can only imagine out there somewhere if we can just look hard enough.

Wordplay - If forced to choose a favorite component about this book, I would say it is the language.  The author uses a MASSIVE variety of words....and if there was no human word that was sufficient, he made one up and attributed it to one of his zillions of non human races.  On top of that the author would constantly list numerous books and their authors...I kept waiting for this to get annoying...but somehow it worked perfectly with the story.  To make it even better, he cleverly disguised some famous authors by anagraming their names.  For example:  Selwi Rollcar = Lewis Carroll, Aliesha Wimperslake = William Shakespeare, so very cool.  I love words, and when an author uses them correctly it just makes my little literary heart go pitter patter.

Not What I Thought - So to be honest I wasn't 100% sure what I was getting into when I started this book.  From the description and the titles of the authors other books in the series I thought it might be a kids book.  Then the illustrations and mostly almost silly animalistic characteristics of most of the characters led to me thinking it might be a light hearted tale....Nope.  This is definitely a book for at the very least older kids.  There is violence (so much violence), betrayal, complex ideas...not a book for 7 year old.  It was great though and the juxtaposition (sorry this book makes me pull out my big girl words) of the simple illustrations, the fun characters and the adult writing were very original and a great read.

Overall Impression - Ok, so I don't think I have been able to impart even a tenth of what I want to about this book.  In the end all I can say is that it is an experience, and one I think anybody who loves books should have.  I give this book 9 out of 10 Animatomes and really encourage every book reader to pick it up....even if it's just to figure out what the heck I'm talking about.  Happy Reading Everybody!!! 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Big Screen Bite

Hola Readers.  Hubbin is a huge zombie find they all end up being the same thing.  That being said, on occasion somebody will come up with a way to refresh the genre...usually in book
form.  This winter I read The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, my thoughts on which you can read here.  I mentioned that there was a movie and I was interested in this one in particular 'cause the author of the book wrote the screenplay simultaneously.  He stated that he made the screenplay purposely a bit different from the book to better fit the big screen format.  I was curious how this would turn out so on our last movie night we watched the film version.  For the most part I had almost the exact same feelings about the movie as I did the book.  The casting was pretty spot on, the world felt like a post apocalyptic zombie world, the story followed the book for pretty much was ok.  I felt that the world was better portrayed in the book, but the little actress that played Melanie really brought it.  I also felt that they could have done a better job advertising in the " hey this isn't really a movie for kids 'cause for real there is a whole lot of adult content in this movie" category.  Overall I felt that the movie really did not bring any of the uniqueness of the book...but still had some of the same pacing problems.  In the end I felt that neither was wholly original, neither was really bad, they were both interesting on certain points...but in the end as almost always, I liked the book better.  That being said, if you have read the book, go ahead and watch the movie 'cause there are some really cool parts.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cool Writing Desk And It's All Mine

With school, work and writing I desperately needed a space to keep all my various laptops, tablets, books and other paraphernalia.  So here it is.

It's already mess, but it is being used a fact I'm using it right now to write this post lol.  The only down side is that it is in my book nook so I am constantly being tempted to go grab a book and read instead of study or  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Firebird Once More

Hi Readers, here I am with promised rambling.  I'm excited to finally get back to it!!!!!   Ok so today let's ramble about Firebirds Soaring edited by Sharyn November, the last in the trilogy of Firebird short story collections.  As with the previous two installations, this book contains a wide variety of short stories in what we now call speculative fiction...which is essentially an encompassing genre that includes all manner of sci fi, fantasy and all the wonderful gray areas in between.  Here are a couple...well more then a couple of my favorites in this collection.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Kingmaker by Nancy Springer - This opening short story shows us a young woman who is desperate to keep a potentially bad ruler off the throne.  She stumbles upon an object that will not only allow her to keep said baddie away, but potentially rule the world herself.  She realizes this is not the way and takes the hard route instead.  A lot of story is packed in these few pages but it feels and old school tale you tell the young warriors around the camp fire.

Egg Magic by Louise Marley - I always love a magic story that involves either everyday items or everyday jobs.  This story hits the spot telling us about a girl, her hens, their sometimes magic eggs, a wild magic mother and the need to figure out how to fit in with a life not of her choosing.  I really like the mix of domesticness and magic in this story.

Flatland by Kara Dalkey - Set in the future, kids/teenagers are recruited right out of school by huge companies to essentially live/eat/sleep/breath work.  These kids get paid, room and board and access to all kinds of services in return for almost around the clock computer work.  Our girl is essentially told to go on vacation, here through various means she realizes how much she misses actually having a life, breathing fresh air and just having time to herself.  This is a very for the moment story that explores the new way people work, having the means to always be connected to work is not always the best thing.

Ferryman by Margo Lanagan - The tale is short, sad yet awesome.  We get to see the daily life of Charon as his wife and daughter make him lunch, bring it to him, almost making the ferryman of the dead a regular working stiff...until he falls into the river and becomes a real stiff.  Although very sad...I don't know...I really really liked this story.

The Ghosts of Strangers by Nina Kiriki Hoffman - This is more of a novella then a short story, but it was epic.  In this world the people of the village have a deal with the dragons.  We learn that when the human bond mate of a dragon dies, he/she has the option of being fed to their dragon and become part of the dragon.  We follow our heroin as she has a special gift of being able to see and capture ghosts which she then feeds the dragons.  Awesome story and now I want to see if it ever got expanded to novel form.

Three Twilight Tales by Jo Walton - Not a lot to say about these other then they read as pure magic.  To me this type of dream land story telling is exactly what the short story format is all about.  There are three tales all interwoven and beautiful and just wonderful.

The Dignity He's Due by Carol Emshwiller - A mom, her daughter and her son wander through out the state, never settling down.  Mom is convinced that her son is really a long lost Prince and treats him accordingly.  Sister is just trying to make some sort of life for them.  This story really gets to me as it shows us how easily the line between reality and fantasy can be blurred.  It also shows us the importance of family and how anybody can be their for anybody else.

I'm kind of sad that this series is over.  I have found many many many new stories, authors and books from these three collections.  However I am glad to have had the chance to discover and read all these gems.  I recommend this collection to anybody who likes a good story and I give it 8 out of 10 kitsune.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Did Ya Miss Me?

Hola Readers...I'm back...FINALLY!   I just ended my job with my sweet monsters and while I will horribly miss my amazing time with them...I will not miss the 10 hour days with a two hour
commute.  I have very much missed you guys, I love writing this blog...even if it is just for myself so I am totally excited to get back into it. I am still working my other job(s) and am in Paramedic school so still racking up the hours so this will still have to be a 2-3 times a week blog. Oh also I got a new key board so I am able to type more then 2 words a minute THANKS HUBBIN!   Ok gotta get some sleep and study, but stay tuned in the next day or two for some epic ramblings and some literary awesomeness that has been swirling through my brain.  I'm so so so so so so excited to get back to it!  Happy Reading Everybody!

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Hola Readers!  I have come to a yucky decision.  At the moment I am working three full time jobs,
volunteering and started school full time.   As you can probably imagine, this does not leave a whole lot of time for reading, much less blogging.  Luckily one of my jobs (the one with the most onerous schedule) ends in June, freeing me up to resume my reading and blogging.  So pretty much what I am saying is I probably won't be writing much until then.  I am sad 'cause this is one of my only creative outlets, which is why I'm gonna start right back up in June.  Hope to see you then.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Crazy Reader

So this is how life is right now
So...yeah.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, April 21, 2017


Hi All!  So...I just finished signing up for my Paramedic my already crazy life is about to
get crazier.  This means my already spotty posting is about to get even spottier.  I considered shutting it down because I hate not being able to regularly post...but even if it is intermittent, this blog really helps me focus and calm down.  It fulfills my creative side and makes my reading even more enjoyable.  So I will continue to write when I can, just will probably only be once or twice a week most of the time.  Hopefully I can sneak in a bit extra here and there.  On an unrelated note I spilled more stuff on my keyboard and my B and N keys are super not working so blech.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Game Of Thrones In Space

Hola Readers, how are you all doing today?  I got a couple fabulous days off that were much needed and were used to my literary advantage...but more on that later.  One of the things I got finished was Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey, the second book in the Expanse series.  I loved the first one and was leery and excited to read the second one as more then once a series has disappointed in it's follow up.  Lucky for me I loved this book as much as the first one.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
At the end of the last book we left the crew of the Rocinante putting themselves back together after helping Detective Miller plunge the protomolecule ridden space station Eros into Venus.  If this doesn't make any sense...go read the book lol.  Anyways Holden and his crew are running around doing errands for Fred Johnson, the de facto leader of the OPA when they stumble across the aftermath of Ganymede.  Ganymede is a moon that has become the main food growing space for the Belt and it was attacked by an unknown monster like entity.  The attack wiped out all of the Earth and Mars marines stationed on the base except for one, our girl Bobbie.  The attack led to the very tense Earth and Mars factions shooting at each other and chaos reigns.  The ensuing violence pretty much decimates that Ganymede station and we meet Prax, a botanist who lives with his young daughter on the base.  Prax discovers his daughter is missing and kind of goes on a bit of a bender in his search for her.  Meanwhile back on Earth Chrisjen Avasarala, the under-secretary representing Earth in the UN is desperately trying to stay in the loop and maintain what peace she can between Earth, Mars and the OPA.  This is further complicated by people both above and below her pushing their own agendas.  Avasarala is particularly interested in keeping an eye on Venus and the energy spikes that seem to correlate with the monster attack.  Bobbie the Martian Marine is brought to the UN as the only survivor to show the video of the monster. Avasarala feels that there is more going on then meets the eye and hires Bobbie to work with her to find out what it is.  Back on Ganymede Holden and crew run into Prax and agree to help him find his daughter.  Their search leads to a hidden lab where Holden...who has had a much closer encounter with the protomolecule then anybody ever needs, realizes what it is they are seeing.  He get's everybody back to the ship and the heck out of dodge.  They fly back to Fred Johnson, where after a tiff, Holden and crew are once again free to take on any contract they want.  They set up a fund to find Mei, Prax's daughter and off they go.  Avasarala after some stuff realizes that one of the Generals is behind the whole "protomolecule as a weapon" thing and that he is trying to instigate a war.  She continues to play the political game, ending up with Bobbie out in space on a slow ship to Ganymede.  She contacts Holden and makes him an offer he can't refuse.  After they all get together on the Rocinante, Holden and his crew (Naomi, Alex and Amos...who are now equal owners of the ship and its profits), Avasarala, Bobbie and Prax pool their information and come to a horrifying realization.  Prax's daughter, along with many other children who have also gone missing, all had a very specific immuno disorder.  This disorder made it possible for them to infect the children with the protomolecule in an attempt to make a controllable weapon.  The problem with this is that they were never really controllable and one got loose and caused all the events from Ganymede and forward to occur.  We also get more info on Jules Mao...the father of Julie Mao from the last book.  We discover that his wealth and company are a huge part of what has made this atrocity possible.  Of course the biggest concern is if one of these monsters makes it anywhere where there is human in habitation...cause you turns everybody into vomit zombies (still one of my favorite phrases).  Our people discover that lab base and fly there post haste.  After some political manuvering and a bit of threatening the crew make it.  They split up to accomplish various tasks and finally make it back to the Rocinante alive and with Mei and some of the other children.  Everybody goes to Luna to celebrate and reconnect with what family they have left.  Unfortunately the celebration is cut short when the news comes that Venus has spun off a comet size blast of protomolecule headed who knows where...and thus ends this second book.  Obviously there is a ton more as usual to this complex yet highly readable book, but as usual this is about the gist of it.
World Building - The series continues to build upon the last book.  This time however we get to visit some new places, namely Earth, Ganymede and plenty of various ships.  All of the careful world building and science of the last book were carried on in this book, making it a world that was easy to jump right back into.  I especially appreciate the little daily details that the authors pop in to remind us of the various environments our characters find themselves in, especially the different gravity types.  I really felt like I was hopping right back into a complete world.  Great job guys.

Story - I felt that this story really built on the completeness and simplicity (yet in a complete contradiction the complexness) of the first book.  I felt like the first story set us up to read through this story with complete understanding.  This story, with it's personal bits with Prax and his daughter, the larger political landscape and the even larger ancient alien threat to humanity all tied together in a whole that left me feeling satisfied while still wanting to hurry up and read the next story.  This is the kind of serial reading I like, where the story is not repetitive with the same formula over and over.  They are original stories that when all read together make an even longer overall story...very saga like.

Character -  We add a couple of new characters in this installment and I love each and every one of them.  In some ways, each character is a bit of an extreme version of a certain personality...on the other hand, each character also has various layers and motivations, making the more outlandish components of their persona's make sense.  I love the naturalness of the characters interactions with each other and how each one seemed authentic and genuine.  I also appreciated how the characters we already knew developed in a believable way considering the insane events of the first book.  Awesome characters.

Editing - The editing of this series is becoming on of my favorite aspects of these books.  These complex ideas, twisted politics, various characters and multiple places could very quickly become confusing, but between the authors and editors it is insanely readable.  Part of the ease of reading is that they use a trick that helps the Game of Thrones Series (hence the title...along with it is pretty much a similar feel...just in space...)which is each chapter belongs to a specific character and is labeled as such.  This takes the big crazy and funnels it through a single viewpoint...but more on that later.

Viewpoints - The first book in this series worked because we saw all the complexity funneled through two very distinct and two very different view points.  This book builds on what we learned in the first book and kicks it up a notch with FOUR viewpoints.  I like the characters they choose as they come from different places (Mars, Earth, Belt and Holden representing a kind of every man).  They are different personalities, different professions, different socio-economic classes...essentially every issue is shown to us from a sampling of who might be affected.  This expanded version of what we started with further enriches the world and story, yet still makes me feel like the book is readable without being overly bogged down.  I also feel like I am getting a mostly diverse view of events, not all one sided, no one planet or area is right, no one view is entirely's pretty open ended without being ambiguous...if that makes sense.

Micro to Macro - When a series is set in such an epic setting, I like it when they can focus on multiple layers, and this book does it beautifully.  I mentioned it before, but I like how we have the personal story of Prax and his daughter Mei, it puts an individual face on the impact of these vast and broad happenings.  I think even in real life we get so used to hearing these epic horror stories that we forget that individual suffer horribly because of these events.  We then expand to the politicol/soci-economic problems of Earth, Mars and the OPA.  This is a bigger issue, affecting more people and requiring a bigger and more complex solution, while still depending on the whims of individuals and their own prides and prejudices (see what I did their Austen fans?).  Then we expand into a universal concern as the protomolecule threatens EVERYBODY, doesn't matter where you were born, or where you work, or even how much money you have...this requires people to put aside individual concerns, patriotic alliances and work together in an unprecedented way to save humanity.  The various levels give the reader both somebody to root for and an epic horror to root against.

Names - Something I have noticed and loved as a bibliophile is the abundance of literary and historical references scattered through out the books.  In this book even the title has a Shakespearean origin.  Caliban is the twisted son of a witch who is a slave to the main character Prospero of the Tempest, until he throws off his shackles to disastrous effect.  This is paralleled in our book by the protomolecule/human hybrid monsters breaking the human constraints.  The names of the ships are especially fun to look up.  The Rocinante is named after the horse in Don Quixote.  The Barbapiccola is named after a philosopher and poet.  The Somnambulist is a pretty awesome word for sleepwalking and the Guanshiyin is a Hindu Goddess.  Pretty much anything with a name has some sort of cool story attached to it...jut another layer of awesome.

Overall - I am so excited that this second installment lived up to my love of the first book.  This is not always the case and I now have super high hopes for the next book.  I have been putting these books on my phone 'cause they are super easy to read a couple of pages inbetween calls and dealing with the monsters so they have been my go to books lately.  I give this book 8 out of 10 bulbs of coffee and am totally stoked to catch up on the tv show AND read the next book.  I recommend it to anybody who wants a solid scifi story, misses game of thrones and doesn't mind vomit zombies instead of white walkers or who read the first book and loved it.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Sleeping And Dreaming

Sooooo incredibly tired...just need to close my eyes for a bit.
I'll see you all later.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

FriendsThat Are Family

Ok, so these last couple weeks have been super rough and to be honest it is probably not gonna improve for at least a couple weeks more.  That being said I have this amazing group of friends that have become my family.  After coming home from work and sobbing and blubbering to Hubbin (who was f*%#ing amazing by the way) I immediately contacted my friends...who in all honesty are not my friends, they are my family and boy did they come through and help pull me out of my funk.  Being of the literary minded I was eventually led to think of all of the awesome friendships in my beloved books (who also work as friends and family lol).  Here are some friendships that I feel bring the vibe that I have with my peeps.

Samwise Gamgeee - After mentioning this one to Hubbin, he made the point that I really did not need to look any further, and he is probably right.  Sam from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series, embodies true friendship to the point of family.  He takes his duties as Frodo's best friend very seriously. He keeps Frodo fed, clothed and in all honesty grounded in reality.  I still maintain without Sam, Frodo would have perished...or at least given up very early on.  This guy embodies everything one looks for in a true best friend.  Loyalty, helpfulness, intelligence, resourcefulness...seriously this guy is the ultimate best friend!

Jill and Eustace - At the outset this mismatched pair from C.S. Lewis Silver Chair don't seem like friends at all.  Over the course of the book however the two learn to not only work together, but to trust each other in a way that ensures an enduring life long friendship.  This friendship is proven in later books as the pair are brought back the to magical world of Narnia once again to help it.  This is a case of circumstances leading to the choice of becoming mortal enemies or best of friends and these two decide on the bond of friendship, much to their mutual benefit.

A Through L - After being brought to a world of pure awesomeness, our favorite heroine, September meets up with the wavery A-L and forms a lifelong friendship that can never end.  Through out the series we see just how tight these two are and just how valuable the friendship is.  This is a case of truly mutual beneficial a friendship can be, as both parties rely on each other, help each other, depend on each other and come through for each other no matter the situation.  Even though both parties meet other entities the truest friendship is with each other and that is awesome.

Piemur - This lovable scamp is the friend that all of need.  When Menolly arrives friendless, familyless and pretty much nothingless (that's a word right?), this guy steps right in.  Through his cleverness and ability to manipulate almost anybody, Piemur helps Menolly go from a friendless oddity to one of the most valued members of Harper Hall.  This friendship continues as both parties grow older.  This is a friendship that is shared until death, this is a friendship that causes children to call them auntie and uncle, this is a friendship that can never end as it is so tight that the bonds of family and friend are irrevocably blurred.

The Hogwarts Trinity - We can't really mention bestest friends without mentioning Harry, Ron and Hermione.  This trio's ability to maintain the tightest of friendships regardless of insane circumstances is utterly amazing.  I kind of feel like my firehouse family has a bond like this...given a bit expanded as there are more then 3, but still a super tight bond that is able to endure hardships, squabbles, boy/girl troubles and pretty much anything else life has to throw at us.  The author imagines this trio enduring well into adulthood and beyond and to be honest my boys and girls are there for me in the same way.  It is nice to know that friendships like this are real.

Ok, I'm done gushing now, but seriously I feel that friendship is very important, in both a real and literary sense.  I am always rooting for the friends, I always want the friendship to endure and a large part of this is my amazing luck at having people like this in my own life.  My boys and girls who get me through this sh* know who your are ( I know at least two of you read this on at least a semi-regular basis lol).  I love you all so very much and am glad to have these legendary friends in my life.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Know Your Own Happiness"

Finally finished my first Jane Austen book of the great reread!  It took me a while mostly 'cause the weather was being dumb and when the weather would cooperate I was on an ambulance keeping people alive.  Anyways a couple of nice days with some free time and I've finished Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.  Are we ready for my thoughts on this first novel by our famous lady?  But first, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
I'm not gonna go into a ton of detail as full on synopsis are available in a zillion places, but here is the bare bones gist.  Our story centers on the Dashwood women.  We have Mrs. Dashwood, the widowed second wife of a gentleman.  She has three daughters, the sensible Elinor, the passionate Marianne and the young Margaret.  Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters must find a new living under diminished means after the late Mr. Dashwoods son from his first marriage inherits almost all of his assets.  The ladies are fortunate enough to be offered a cottage by a distant relation, Sir John Middleton and his wife.  Though much less the they are used to, the women find a way to get comfortable.  Elinor is stoically nursing a secret attachment to her brother's wife's brother...that makes sense right?  Anyways the gentleman in question is Edward Ferrars, who is even more stoic and controlled then Elinor.  Unfortunately for our stalwart couple, his mother and sister are set against any marriage that does not improve the family fortune.  The family is continually invited to the main house of the Middleton's where they make the acquaintance of Colonel Brandon, a man out of his 20's who very much admires Marianne and her free spirit.  She of course being young and wild does not consider the man a true prospect.  While out exploring her new surroundings, Marianne falls and injures her ankle and is rescued by the dashing young Willoughby.  With what feels to Elinor a lack of propriety the pair begin a very obvious flirtation, spending as much time together as humanly possible.  One day at a party headed by Colonel Brandon, he is suddenly called away on urgent business.  Elinore learns from the effusive Mrs. Jennings (Sir John's mother-in-law) that the Colonel has a tragic past that involved a young free spirited girl that he was not allowed to marry, leading to the young woman landing in very dire straights.  Not much later Willoughby with an apparent sudden change of heart bids farewll to the Dashwoods in a very abrupt and painful manner, leaving Marianne a not so happy creature.  Meanwhile two young lady's by the name of Ann and Lucy Steele have taken up residence with Sir John and his family.  Elinor is taken into the confidence of Lucy and is informed that Lucy has been engaged to Edward for several years.  The engagement has been kept a secret as his mother would not be pleased to see her eldest son wed to such a low person.  Marianne and Elinor are invited to London by Mrs. Jennings and they agree to go.  Upon arrival Marianne promptly does her best to get in touch with Willoughby to no avail.  The Steeles also arrive to plague Elinor with Lucy's continual talk of her engagement.  Marianne eventually gets to see Willoughby, but he is very cold and very formal with her.  This is followed by a letter letting her know in no uncertain terms that there is nothing between them.  Marianne is devastated and succumbs to a crippling emotional melancholy.  Colonel Brandon arrives soon after to tell Elinor that the reason he and Willoughby left was because Willoughby and seduced, impregnated and then abandoned Colonel Brandon's ward.  After much back and forth, it finally comes out to Edward's mother and sister of his engagement to Lucy...and it does not go well.  He is essentially disinherited in favor of his younger brother, but Edward shows his true colors by refusing to break of he engament just for the sake of money (good job Edward).  Elinor is resigned that he should follow his honor instead of his heart and prepares herself to live with the idea of him married to Lucy.  The Dashwood sisters start their journey home, but are stalled when Marianne falls very ill.  She is tended by Elinor, Colonel Brandon and eventually her mother. At some point Willoughby comes to seek if not forgiveness, then at least understanding.  Mariann starts to recover and they head home with Mariann being clamer and wiser for her illness.  Upon arrival they are greeted with the news of Lucy becoming Mrs. Ferrars.  Everybody believes that Edward and Lucy married...until Edward shows up to refute that idea.  Apparently after shifting the inheritance to Edward's brother, Lucy found she preferred him and left Edward.  This has the happy consequence of allowing Edward to follow his heart to Elinor, who agree's to be his wife.  They soon marry.  Marianne eventually grows to love the Colonel who has stayed by her through thick and thin and also finds happiness.  Everybody gets what they deserve, learn to be better people and live mostly happily ever after.

World Building - Set in the late 1700's in various parts of England, this at the time could be considered contemporary.  Of course we all now think of it as historical fiction...but yeah.  Anyways, the author does a good job of setting the various scene's, making us feel like we are in the various locations and really really making me want to visit 18th century England.  I always feel like I could walk the streets or parks or paths of whatever place the characters happen to be.  One of my favorite things about this author.  In this book in particular I am always enamored with Barton Cottage and the surrounding areas.

Story - With the exception of a few overly convenient plot points, the story is very well done.  We have the weaving of several story lines, a bunch of characters and a setting the brings everything together in a fairly believable fashion.  This is one of the more full on romantic of this authors novels, focusing mostly on the love lives of the main characters, but so many other things are also taken into consideration.  The ability of the author to balance romance, everyday living, practicality, humor, pathos and every other literary thing is pretty awesome.  It is even cooler when I remember that this was at the time a contemporary novel so it was written for the time, and yet still resonates now.

Character - The varied and complex characters are for me what really make a Jane Austen novel.  She has the ability to create characters that at first glance seem to be stock or even extreme, but as the novel goes on we notice nuance and growth for almost every single character.  Take the two main characters for example.  Elinor is portrayed as stoic and sensible.  This is mostly a good thing, but we see where her inability to share her feelings with the people she loves leads to miscommunication.  Marianne on the other hand is overly emotional leading people to try and calm her or tame her, yet at the same time she is shown to be able to truly enjoy life in a way most people can't.  We see Mrs. Jennings as portrayed to be a well-meaning gossip, yet by the end of the book both Elinor and Marianne see that she acts with genuine love and care.  I LOVE that everybody has a motive, arc and even in most cases some sort of redeeming quality.

Editing - To me this book makes perfect sense.  Some people have a bit of difficulty with some of the language...not Shakespeare level trouble, but enough to turn some people off.  There are several editions that contain footnotes and blurbs that explain some of the more arcane language or turns of phrase.  I find this both helpful and enlightening and find it a smart editorial choice.

Love - This book is chock full of love.  Family love, sister love, friend love, but most prominently love love.  I like this book because it shows us the many ways a person can fall in and out of love.  We have Elinor and Edward who take there time and fall in love with the whole person.  They also suffer because they are both stoic and honorable and are constantly giving each other up for various noble reasons...I'm just glad they finally got together.  Marianne shows us violent young love that does not wait for true knowledge of the other person, but rather falls in love with idea's and circumstances.  Marianne's later acknowledgement and acceptance of the slower, deeper, yet way less passionate love of Colonel Brandon shows a maturity in here way of thinking.  Lucy Steele shows us a more selfish and catty love as she attaches only to improve her station AND to make people (mostly Elinor) feel bad.  Willoughby's flirtations, seductions, abandonment's and finally marrying for money show us the worst of immature love where one only loves to gratify ones own feelings.  By exploring the various kinds of love and their consequences I feel like every teenager regardless of gender/identity should read this book to get an idea of the craziness that is what we call love.

Humor - When one talks about classics or even more specifically Jane Austen one does not necessarily think of humor.  I will probably address this again, as it is one of my favorite things about Austen's style, but let's start here.  Ms. Austen has a very subtle tongue in cheek style that can catch one of guard if you are not paying attention.  There is more then one occasion when I have laughed out loud at a turn of phrase or a well placed pun.  Also certain characters (the elder Ms. Steele and Charlotte Palmer comes to mind) that seemed to be placed in the book for comic relief.  It is this well roundedness that adds a lot to the overall reading experience.

 Ages - This is just a bit of a personal thing for me.  I know that the era that this was written in was vastly different then ours is now...but still.  In this book in particular, the ages of the girls who are looking to be married are very young, like 17 years old young.  In this book Marianne, who is 17 marries the 36 year old Colonel Brandon...who has a 15 year old female ward...who has a baby of her essentially he married a girl who is the same age as his adopted daughter and made her an instant grandmother...kinda ew...and I like Colonel Brandon...but ew...and apparently lots of ellipses...Anyways.  I know there are probably worse things, and that the age difference still happens today and there are many happy couples who have a significant age difference.  I think it's the idea of a 17 year old grandmother that really gets to

Overall Impression - This first novel of my beloved Jane Austen does not disappoint.  I love the complicatedness of it, I love the humaness of it, I love the eloquance of it, I don't love the overly convenient plot fixes...but that is minor compared to the awesomeness of this debut novel.  I give it 8 out of 10 painted screens and recommend it to anybody who wants a great story, loves a classic or is looking for a non vomit inducing romance.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bibliophiles Shirts

Hola Readers,  I noticed today that a lot of my clothes have gotten pretty worn out.  That means one thing of course SHOPPING!  Here are a couple of shirts I think would probably fit right into my wardrobe.

A Without Reading
Why would you ever go a day without reading?
Book Dragon
One of my new favorites
Allergic to Stupidity
Truer words were never spoken lol
My name is Super Bookworm Girl and I'm a bookaholic
To Read or Not to Read
Is that even a question?

A couple of these shirts should greatly enhance my closet and my overall outlook on life.  So off I go to get some shirts, Happy Reading Everybody!